GCM Watch reported on the shocking news of the murder and Pastor Ronald Paige’s apparently openly homosexual lifestyle here. Additionally, we raised questions (as did the Memphis media) about why sexual abuse allegations reported to Walker went unheeded. But according to Walker’s son, the elder Walker did do something: he removed Paige from his jurisdiction.
Pastor LT Walker, Jr. of Little Rock said there was little doubt in his mind that his father Bishop LT Walker acted honorably in dealing with allegations of sexual molestation and homosexual clergy in Arkansas First Jurisdiction. GCM Watch commends Pastor Walker for stepping up to the plate and doing what COGIC’s leadership has thus far failed to do. Although we were not completely satisfied with all his answers, we felt he answered to the best of his knowledge.
Pastor Walker, who serves as the Sunday School Superintendent for the jurisdiction said, “My dad Bishop L.T. Walker Sr. is the greatest man I will ever know on this earth and he stood against wrong.”
We asked Pastor Walker about the case with Elder Ronald Kimbrew.
According to Pastor Walker, his father ordered him to not allow Kimbrew to teach in the Sunday School because of the allegations of homosexual conduct and he said he complied. Despite the specific information given to Bishop Walker on Kimbrew’s public activities, Kimbrew “denied all of it to the investigating committee” said Pastor Walker. He wasn’t clear what the investigating committee did beyond that, but said that Kimbrew was not removed. Walker said he knew and others were aware of other COGIC pastors who “ran with Kimbrew” but added that no complaints had been filed against them. Bishop Walker, he said, told him that unless someone files a complaint against a member of COGIC clergy there was little to nothing that could be done.
I reminded Pastor Walker that even if a member had specific knowledge of such things, they would be fearful of reporting it because they are threatened with the “touch not mine anointed” defense. The average member isnt educated about reporting procedures.
On the murdered COGIC pastor, Walker, Jr. said Paige was removed from the pastorate by Bishop Walker more than 10 years ago but he was never told why. After his removal, Paige was then allegedly assigned to another COGIC jurisdiction in Tennessee.
“Pastor Paige has not been a member of Arkansas 1st in more than 10 years. The church he pastored was suppose[sic] to have been in Bishop Porter’s [now deceased] jursidiction out of Memphis that’s why my dad had no comment. Plus he was in and out of the hospital for the last several years. We have nothing to hide from anyone especially from God who sees all. I speak as a part of Ark 1st jursi [sic]. I am the Jursidictional sunday school supertindent for ark 1st i’m a son that loved his father very much if i thought dad was wrong i would not even comment,but i know what dad stood for holiness.”
He also was not aware if there was any trial or paperwork filed related to reports that Paige had molested several young men in his church. Asked if the Presiding Bishop should do more to deal with homosexual issues in his denomination, Walker replied, “yes he should”.
- Removal of a pastor in COGIC is near impossible unless there is some serious charge. Even so, such charges must go through an investigation and trial stage before a pastor’s removal. In this case, its unclear whether any of COGIC’s procedures were followed by Bishop Walker.
- Paige’s removal could corroborate the allegations against him by parents who said after they reported the information to Walker, they were forced out of the local church.
- The allegations spanned a period of about 20 years, thus Paige’s removal occured after some sexual abuse allegations were reported.
- Since our initial reporting, Arkansas 1st website, which was controlled by Ronald Kimbrew, has been dismantled.
- Although Bishop Charles Blake defended his UN controversy to COGIC’s general assembly, he maintained his silence on the numerous clergy sexual abuse cases in COGIC, some which threaten to bankrupt COGIC if the victim prevails.